While Sunbasket offers tasty, if pricey, meal options or people with dietary preferences, Blue Apron offers one of the cheapest meal kit delivery services on the market - but which one is the right meal kit for you?
I’ve reviewed over 10 meal kit delivery services. Here’s what I thought about Blue Apron vs Sunbasket.
Meals starting from
$10.99 per serving
$7.49 per serving
$6.99 per week
Free shipping on 3 recipes per week and up; $7.99 per week on 2 recipes per week
Dietary preference plans?
Paleo, vegan, keto - a wide range of dietary preferences
18+ options per menu
17+ options per menu
Blue Apron and Sunbasket are practically at other ends of the spectrum when it comes to pricing and shipping costs. But then again, what they offer is also completely different: Sunbasket caters to people with dietary preferences, such as vegan, paleo and even diabetic-friendly. Blue Apron, to put it simply, doesn't really.
While Blue Apron is one of the cheapest meal delivery kit services I’ve reviewed, Sunbasket is one of the most expensive. Sunbasket also has a $6.99 weekly delivery charge, while Blue Apron gives you free shipping if you order 3 recipes and over a week, otherwise delivery is just $7.99.
But of course, this all means nothing without a little bit of comparison: For 2 people eating 3 meals a week with Blue Apron, you’ll be paying $60; the same 2-person, 3-meal option at Sunbasket (at $11.99 a meal) will cost you $72, including the shipping fee.
Those costs are even more dramatically different on the 4-person plans: at Blue Apron: 4 people eating 3 meals a week on Blue Apron’s Family Plan will pay $96, including shipping. At Sunbasket, this will cost $132.
This means that Blue Apron works out as much, much cheaper than Sunbasket, across both 2-person and 4-person plans.
But remember, it's not only about pricing: Blue Apron might be cheaper, but if you have a fussy eater or someone with a diet preference that you're ordering for, Sunbasket is likely the better option.
Winner: Blue Apron
While Sunbasket gave me Monday-Thursday options for my delivery, Blue Apron gave me Tuesday-Saturday delivery options. Maybe this was just due to my location (California), yet both sites state they deliver all 7 days of the week. That’s not what I experienced but never mind.
Both have delivery windows of 8am - 8pm (Blue Apron) and 9pm (Sunbasket), but it didn't really make a difference to me: what I liked is, when I ordered a Saturday delivery from Blue Apron, it allowed me to cook my recipes over the weekend.
On another note, when it comes to packaging, both meal kit delivery services disappointed me. As a plastic-free wannabe (and I really try my best), both Blue Apron and Sunbasket used way too much plastic for my liking. In Blue Apron’s box, my loose ingredients were in plastic bags, and other ingredients were in plastic containers (which at least I could reuse).
The same was true of Sunbasket: I was at first happy that I could see ingredients placed in paper bags (which I can recycle)...but then, once I looked inside those paper bags, I found Sunbasket had placed the ingredients inside plastic bags, and then put these into the paper bags. What was the point of that, exactly?
It makes it hard for me to declare a winner, in this case: both companies massively disappointed me when it came to the amount of plastic in their delivery boxes. I guess Blue Apron just about wins out over Sunbasket here, thanks to the Saturday delivery slot.
Winner: Blue Apron
Meal deliveries in Blue Apron vs Sunbasket are where things get interesting.
Sunbasket is probably the meal kit delivery service to go to if you need something a little more specific from your food: Here are the meal plans it offers:
Each plan has 18 meals a week to choose from.
Blue Apron makes things much, much more simple:
You have two choices - the two-person plan, and the 4-person Family Plan.
Within each plan, you can exclude several menu items - shellfish, pork and meat, for example - but otherwise, what you see is pretty much what you get.
While Sunbasket helped me out with some helpful Tips and Techniques videos (even showing me how to cut vegetables properly), which helped as some of its recipe, instruction were a little vague (such as one telling me to cook my meat “to its desired doneness”. The end result? I burned the meat). But Blue Apron wasn’t much better. While the instructions were easy to follow, but still, I would have appreciated some clearer direction than “drizzle the olive oil” (because I didn't know much to drizzle).
Otherwise, Blue Apron has about 11 meal options available a week, per plan, which is just enough choice.
I think that, as far as the category winner is concerned, it really depends on if you have any dietary preferences, and if you like a lot of choice. If you like to keep things simple, Blue Apron is the best for you. If you like a lot of variety and have certain preferences, it's Sunbasket.
Hands down, Sunbasket wins here. Just check out any section above, where I go into the range of dietary plans available.
Blue Apron doesn't have anything like that, but it does allow you to exclude certain things from its menus - shellfish, pork and more. While any vegan or even paleo eater could easily filter some things out and get along just fine, someone with a more specific dietary need might struggle here.
While no meal kit delivery service that I’ve sampled took a long time to sign up to, I feel I have to mention Blue Apron’s super speedy sign up process, taking about three or four clicks.
Otherwise both Blue Apron and Sunbasket are very easy to order from. With both, you sign up, set your food preferences and choose your meals from what’s on offer. Then you choose a delivery time, and voila - everything arrives to your door in a big cardboard box.
Although, I also want to mention Sunbasket’s very useful filtering.
These meant I could easily check out recipes for my food preferences.
I think I’ll say Sunbasket is the winner, just for its innovative filtering. Blue Apron was easy enough to order from, but (as with most meal delivery kits), there aren't really a lot of filters to help you narrow down your recipe choice.
Sunbasket and Blue Apron cater to very, very different types of people: straightforward, preference-less people would be well-suited to Blue Apron, while those with very specific dietary preferences - vegan, paleo etc - would appreciate Sunbasket’s plans more.
Of course there’s a bit of a cost difference (scroll to the Pricing section, at the top of this review) but for some people, it might be justified. While Blue Apron has some nice, simple meals, it might not be adventurous enough for some people...although it is more attractively priced.
Winner: Sunbasket for those with specific dietary needs
Blue Apron for those looking for a most cost-effective meal kit delivery service solution